It is NASCAR season and Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM) has its eye on the sprint cup.The automotive manufacturer has been making more strides into the sport and is now a strong contender.

A while ago, it seemed extremely odd that Toyota wanted to get into the game. However, the company has proven that it is worthy of playing in the big leagues.  In fact, Toyota has gotten so good that it currently ranks second in the standings with General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) taking the lead. Toyota managed to rank ahead of Chevrolet and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F).

Toyota has also managed to bring together a very able team including a team of excellent drivers namely Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. Thanks to these guys and Toyota’s determination, the company has managed to overcome the stereotype as well as the tendency of people to look down upon its cars. The renewed perception is extending from the racetrack to the showrooms. Various models such as the Toyota Camry have experienced more sales since the vehicle made its appearance on the track.

Some of the Toyota markets in the US have grown stronger as the company’s popularity on the race track increases. However, some markets are still experiencing poor sales. Especially markets where NASCAR already has deep roots. Those areas usually have a lot of preference for muscle cars, and it is quite hard to convert such folks.

Toyota’s vice president of Marketing stated that according to the firm’s survey, NASCAR fans are 30% less likely to buy a vehicle from Toyota as opposed to American automobiles. He further added that it has been ten years in NASCAR and the fans’ intention to buy the vehicles either meets or exceeds the demand for the “Detroit three” models. The company entered the competition in 2004 through NASACAR’s truck series. Since then, it managed to blend in perfectly and solidify its position.